Posted: 7:29 pm Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Administration, lost the support of his first Republican on Wednesday, as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced she would oppose his nomination, leaving opponents of Pruitt still short of blocking his confirmation.
“The fact is, Mr. Pruitt and I have fundamentally different views of the role and mission of the EPA,” Collins said in a written statement.
“Specifically, I have significant concerns that Mr. Pruitt has actively opposed and sued EPA on numerous issues that are of great importance to the state of Maine,” Collins added.
After careful consideration, I have decided to oppose the confirmation of Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator https://t.co/QRuRtVua1X
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) February 15, 2017
With the Senate ready to start debate on Pruitt’s nomination on Thursday, the decision by Collins leaves little room for error for the White House, as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has indicated he is leaving on a trip to European security conference before a final vote; that would make 50 votes at a minimum in favor of Pruitt.
At this point, no other Republican has come out against Pruitt, and the GOP is confident he will be approved for the EPA job either late on Thursday or Friday, just before the Senate takes a ten day President’s Day break.
McConnell tells senators to prepare to stay in town for a Friday confirmation vote on Scott Pruitt to head the EPA
— Bridget Bowman (@bridgetbhc) February 15, 2017
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.